A bowl is a spherical vessel that is not covered on the top and can be used to store or serve solid or liquid food. It can also be used to keep non-food material or displayed as an artifact. A bowl usually has a concave shape or a hollowed out center, which is used to store, hold or serve materials. The bowl is a common container, which is used differently in different cultures. It may be used as a container to hold food while eating or for drinking and it is also used to keep food or other articles. They can be either small and shallow or big and deep. Large bowls are used to hold a large amount of food while eating or to serve a large number of people, like the punch bowls and the salad bowls. Bowls have existed for thousands of years.

Bowls can be made of a wide range of materials like ceramic, metal, wood, plastic, glass, stainless steel and other materials. Nowadays, bowls are also made of materials called silicon rubber, melmaine or sashini. Bowls can be round, square, triangle or rectangle shaped. The bowls used for everyday purpose are usually of a plain design that does not have a large number of carvings or prints on them. Such bowls are mono colored. Bowls that are used on special occasions or for decorative purposes carry elaborate design on them. They also come in a wide range of colors. According to their design and material they are variously priced. Bowls are an indispensable part of everyday life. They are found everywhere, be it a kitchen or a living room. Modern bowls are microwave oven-proof and dishwasher proof. Large cardboard bowls are used by movie theaters to sell popcorn or chips. Soup is the most common food item that is served in a bowl. Special soup bowls along with soup spoons are available in the market.

History of the Bowl:

It is very difficult to ascertain the exact date when bowls were first discovered. It has been there since times immemorial. In the primitive ages a crude form of bowl was used which was made of clay or leaves. A bowl prevents the food or liquid from spilling and assists in the action of eating or drinking. Necessity was the reason for its invention. The famous anthropologist, Vincas Steponaitis, has identified the dimension of the bowl as its distinguishing feature. He pointed out that a bowl's diameter is almost half its height and historically they have been classified according to their lip-size or shape. The standard soup bowl has a mouth and a diameter of 18.5cm. It should certainly hold 24 oz. of liquid. Bowls of different shapes and sizes form an integral part of the Indian cuisine. They are also used outside the kitchen in the living room to keep flowers or in a construction site to carry sand or bricks. In Greece, small bowls called phiales, pateras and kylices were used. Earlier phiales were used for libations, which had a small dent in the center of the bowl and were usually used to store wine. Although sometimes they were also used to store perfumes. In Japan bowls have been traditionally used for drinking green tea and also for eating rice. Such bowls are known as Chawan. The rice bowls used for eating rice are shallow while those used for storing or serving rice are deep, has a thicker rim and are also accompanied by a cover or a lid, chopsticks or mats.

Pottery Bowls:

Ceramic or pottery bowls are linked aesthetically to India. The pottery bowl is shaped on a potter's wheel and baked in a kiln. These usually have a rounded shape, and are available in sets of 2, 4 or 6. They may or may not have a flat base, a stand at its base and a handle. The edge of the bowl may be thick or thin depending on its use. The pottery bowls used to eat snacks are shallow while those used for eating a full-course meal are deep with a thicker rim. Pottery bowls may be used as soup bowls, rice bowls, dessert bowls, cereal bowls, pasta bowls, candy bowls, serving bowls or for a decorative purpose. Various techniques may be used to decorate these bowls. The following are some of those techniques:

  • Glazing
  • Painting - Both sides or any one side of the bowl may be painted.
  • Engraving
  • Carving
  • Metal plating
  • Varnishing
  • Glitter, colorful threads, beads or shells may also be used.
  • The pattern is generally linear, geometric, floral, ethnic Indian or abstract. Blue pottery is a special type of pottery, found in Jaipur and Delhi, India. Blue pottery bowls are preferably used for decorating homes.

Metal Bowls:

Metal or stainless steel bowls are durable, tough and rust proof. They can be easily washed in a dishwasher and is environment friendly. In India bowls made of stainless steel are very popular. The ones with a higher edge prevent food from spilling and are best suited for eating any type of food or liquid. Metal bowls are the ideal type of bowls used for feeding pets. Stainless steel bowls can also be designer-made to match with the other pieces of crockery.

Following are the potential manufacturers, suppliers and exporters of Crafts Items: